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The Old Jingle is Dead, Long Live the Jingle!

Between Spotify, Tik Tok, Radio & more there are many sound only spaces for entertainment these days, and cutting through the noise to build your brand can be quite the challenge. Even when your ad is heard, the contrast from going from an absolute banger to some middle aged man talking about health insurance in a monotone voice can be quite jarring. 


So enters the Jingle….


The Jingle traditionally was a radio ad, featuring both singing and speaking, used in order to get your message across. A “donut” for example starts with singing, then has spoken word read over instrumental music, and comes back to the singing for the outro. These ads typically lasted 30-60 seconds and were used to get consumer’s attention. Songwriters such as Barry Manilow had a whole separate career writing and creating these earworms designed to get products stuck in customers heads. Consumers today may associate jingles with cheesy, over the top 70s/80s production that sounds like the opening to a sitcom, but that is far from the case.


..and so leaveth the jingle (but not really)


In a world where digital marketing is the primary focus for many small businesses, you may be surprised to hear the jingle is not just alive but thriving better than ever. Like all things though, the jingle has transformed and evolved with our technology and means of consumption. Radio ads still work (quite well, I might “ad”) but there is a whole new set of tools and techniques for the business looking to make some noise in the digital space. 


Perhaps the most identifiable of these is the sonic logo. You can think of a sonic logo as a distilled jingle. The audio equivalent of a graphic logo, a sonic logo is a short 3-5 second piece of audio that represents your brand and it’s values. Like many other trends of the 21st century, we took the big, vibrant sound of jingle’s past and created a much more streamlined, minimal, and polished experience for the consumer while still retaining the core identity of the brand. Many companies are just starting to adopt sonic logos across all industries. Streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, & HBO, utilize them; as well as McDonalds (fast food), Pilsner Urquell (Alcohol), Statefarm (insurance), Intel (Tech), & more! And because they are so short & memorable, it becomes very easy to utilize these across many different touchpoints making these invaluable for growing your business. 


Besides sonic logos, other companies are taking a more bodacious approach to the use of music in their advertising. Licensing tracks from songwriters can only go so far: the typical issues with this are it’s cost (it can be quite expensive!) and even worse, the non-exclusivity of the license means the association with your brand will not be strong, nor will it be long lasting. Custom music gets around this, and some brands have taken to having multiple “radio ready” songs produced in different genres that are essentially full radio singles about the brand rather than a traditional jingle. 


These singles can fit much more smoothly in a spotify playlist for instance (rather than running it as a traditional ad on spotify) but can also be utilized as a reel or a tik tok. Even just a portion of the music can be taken as a clip or a sound and remixed and interacted with by audiences, in a way which can be considered a “sonic meme” and help your audio go viral. Tik Tok is so popular among Gen Z that in fact, 3 out of 4 Zoomers have purchased something after seeing it on Tik Tok. Tik Tok and Instagram are two heavily sound based social media platforms, and by taking advantage of the sound aspect of that you can help your brand connect more authentically with your target audience. In addition, this culture of responding, remixing, interacting and more allows the “jingle experience” to be more participatory with your consumers and can help you build a deeper connection with them.


In a similar approach to creating custom music in different genres, alcohol giant AB inBev has recently launched a campaign they call “uninterrupt Ads”, where the use songs on Spotify that mentions the brand (in this case “Budweiser”) as advertisements. In addition, AB inBev has utilized streaming platform Twitch to further connect with the youth by providing royalty free tracks for streamers to use during their streams utilizing emerging artists from AB inBev’s own record label BUDXRECORDS.


There are many ways your brand can be utilizing sound more effectively in your ad campaigns, and that's what sonic branding is all about. Contact me at Joe@ElectricRaindrop.Com today for a free consultation to discuss how we can make audio work for your brand!

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